What if I am Injured by a Drunk Driver in Louisiana?
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a crash involving a drunk driver, you absolutely have the right to make an insurance claim or file personal injury litigation. Here in Louisiana (as is true everywhere else), it is illegal and morally reprehensible to drive while intoxicated or impaired by drugs or other mind-altering substances.
If that happens, an injured victim can make insurance claims for personal injury. Money damages can be recovered as compensation for medical bills and costs (like prescriptions), lost wages and earnings, pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and more.
If a fatality occurs, then the estate of the deceased victim can potentially make claims based on a survival action. Money damages can be recovered for similar categories of damages including medical bills, pain and suffering, mental distress, apprehension of imminent harm/death and more. Also, if a death has occurred, then members of the family can sue for wrongful death. Here, money damages can be recovered for loss of society, loss of support and more.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving crash, it is essential to contact an experienced Louisiana personal injury and wrongful death attorney. Louisiana personal injury and wrongful death insurance claims and lawsuits are complicated and you will need the court-room tested legal assistance to ensure full recovery of compensation.
What if the Drunk Driver Dies in the Crash?
What has just been said is equally true if the at-fault drunk driver dies in the crash. Some think that it is impossible to make an insurance claim or begin litigation if the at-fault party has died. That is not the case in Louisiana. That is what happened, for example, in a head-on crash in mid-December 2021 in St. Landry Parish that killed three siblings. As reported here, the driver that caused the crash was determined, by toxicology tests, to have been nearly three times over the legal blood alcohol limit.
In that crash, the drunk driver was going the wrong way — driving northbound in the southbound lanes of a local highway. The drunk driver was pronounced dead at the scene and, now, law enforcement has determined that intoxication was “a major factor” in the crash. As noted, the crash killed three people in the other car and also severely injured two others.
The fact that the drunk driver died does not prevent the victims and family of the deceased from making insurance claims and filing litigation. The drunk driver’s insurance carrier is still liable for settling claims against the policy even after the death of the police-holder. Further, although it is not possible to sue a deceased person, it IS possible to bring litigation against the estate of a deceased person to recover compensation for injuries or death caused by that person before death. For example, the drunk driver might have significant assets — such as property, financial accounts, and other assets — which could be seized to pay compensation to his victims.
Without question, choosing to drive while drunk is a violation of the law and of the legal duties owed by drivers to other drivers on the roads of Louisiana. As such, the drunk driver’s estate will be held liable for injuries and death caused by his unlawful decision to drive while drunk.
Our Attorneys Can Help
For more information, contact the Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have a proven track record of success handling many types of Louisiana personal injury cases including car accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability accidents, and cases involving nursing care facility abuse/neglect. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.